Garden Club: Cultivating creativity, curiosity and dedication

Every year, Garden Club is filled with passionate, excited kids ready to care for our garden and cook some tasty and healthy recipes. This year, summer camp preteens went strawberry picking for our second annual strawberry shortcake festival. They happily ran down the strawberry rows searching for ripe berries and filled our flat in about 30 minutes! Once we got back to the community center, we went to work making enough strawberry shortcake for everyone at summer camp. It was a lot of work, washing and cutting 20 pounds of strawberries, but the crew of young chefs worked diligently to share strawberry shortcake with everyone for snack.

Sometimes it can be difficult to convince the teens to leave their video games or computer time for Garden Club, but this year, teens have really enjoyed picking out and developing their own recipes. Often, I have one recipe planned, and after we finish that recipe, the teens look for other ripe fruits and vegetables in the fridge and garden to make a recipe of their choosing.

Some of their own recipes have included veggie sushi, broccoli scramble eggs, and Mexican street corn on the cob (so far!). Kareem, who made the veggie sushi, said “I would eat this everyday for snack and lunch if I could.”

One of the many reason I love this job is the amazing kids I get to work with. Each of them is curious, creative, and hardworking. Gardening can teach patience as they wait for raspberries to ripen, hard work and dedication as they pull weeds and water the plants, and an appreciation of nature as they watch bees fly from flower to flower and hold earthworms in their hands.